PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gel electrophoresis. View of an electrophoresis cell in use. This technique is used to separate proteins and nucleic acids (such as DNA fragments) by their mobilities through a gel with an applied electric field. As the fragments move at different rates, they form discrete bands within the gel over a given period of time. The fragments may be visualised using normal dyes (as here), dyes that fluoresce under UV light, or they may be labelled with radioisotopes. Gel electrophoresis is the basis of the forensic technique of DNA fingerprinting. Photographed in the laboratory of the Cetus Corporation of Emeryville, California.
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